May is Here!
When the calendar turns to May, I panic a bit! The final month of school is important and impactful; we have to do everything just right! We have 17.5 days to give our best, give our all, and bring closure to an incredible school year.
Before I list the top 17 "to-do's" for May, I want to update you on new hires or changes for the next school year.
- Michelle Weeks has spent this school year assisting in physical education classes. She has brought energy and passion to the role, and she adores helping our littlest students shine. Next year, Michelle will be the primary enrichment teacher for our Pretoddler and Toddlers. She will lead them in physical education, music and movement, cooking, technology, library story time, and more. Having one specialist will provide continuity and cohesiveness to the program, and it will allow the students to bond with one person... one personality, and one set of expectations. We look forward to watching Michelle grow in this role! She will also continue assisting Coach Smith in lower school physical education.
- Nicole Bonacorso will leave the Early Learner classroom and begin a new role within the physical education department. She will be assisting Coach Ziggy in the Intermediate and Middle School PE classes, and she will be helping promote and teach Pretoddler through Prekindergarten after school Panthers on the Prowl offerings. I am excited about Nicole's new role, and I believe this new position will allow her gifts and talents to shine! Ashley Robbins and Janet Holloway will be the Toddler teachers for the 19/20 school year.
- I want to announce our new "Techbrarian" hire, Lacey Meier. With Maria Zdvorak's transition to Pretoddler and Summer Parker's transition to 2nd grade, Lacey will transform both our library and technology program at the main building to be a right mix of tradition and 21st-century learning. Lacey has a Bachelor of Arts in English from William Jewell College and is finishing her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Central Missouri. Lacey comes highly recommended from the St. Joseph School District where she transformed their library space into a true learning commons/learning hub where collaboration and maker space is highlighted as students gather information and solve problems. Lacey says, "my ultimate goal is to instill the same love of library that I grew up with and encourage students to challenge themselves when it comes to what they read, make and learn. The library will be a creative, hands-on space where students are asked to think outside the box". Sara Verwers will provide the same learning commons space and opportunities in the south campus building. Together, this dynamic duo will bring information gathering to a whole new level! Once we complete scheduling, I will share what checkout, library and technology will look like in each division.
- Laura Burch is our new Bookstore Manager, and she will get started in mid-June. Laura earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Park University, and she comes with a wealth of experience in the school setting. Laura has been the site manager for the before and after school programs in the Park Hill School District, and she looks forward to this new and challenging role. You will be watching our current spirit shops transform into lively "convenience" stores for the campus. We hope these spaces become areas where parents gather, where you can find school merchandise, and where students go for their needs (and wants) throughout the day. Laura is excited to get started, and we will be unveiling new furniture, new spaces, and a whole new look this summer!
- Shelby Dodson, class of '08, is ready to spread her wings and fly! She has been working in our finance office overseeing the Smart Tuition accounts since she graduated college a couple of years ago, and she has built lasting relationships with our families and community. Shelby will be moving to Illinois at the end of the school year to work in the business world. We wish her the very best, and I am glad we could be a stop along the way during her career; we were lucky to have her!
In the next 17.5 days, here are the TOP 17 activities, events for your May to-do list:
Top 17 Things To-do at Oakhill in May
Parent's Teas - you won't want to miss these special events just for you. Find the time of your tea!
MPP (Mission Possible Presentations) - our 8th graders have spent much time on this year-long project...this culmination Communication Arts activity! Even if you do not have an 8th grader, they are something to see!
Global Celebration - We will have a full day of special events followed by an after-school community event! I hope we see you there! Learn more about the celebration!
PTO Picnic - Come down to Linden Square for an all-school end of year event sponsored by our PTO! Check out the PTO Picnic Details
Sports Banquet - Celebrate the end of our spring sports season at our track and field banquet!
Field Day - Come for our Middle School Battle during the afternoon of the 16th followed by a full day of fun on field day on the 17th! Get all the Field Day Details!
Flapjack Fest - Did someone say pancakes? Enjoy breakfast on field day! Get your flapjacks!
End of Year Slideshow - During our last town meeting, we like to look back on the year in pictures! This event brings tears of joy from the change that comes from one year to the next!
Yearbook Signing - After our last town meeting, the students receive their yearbooks, and we sign them, leaving our name or message that will last forever!
Graduation - On the evening of May 23rd, we throw quite an event - formal 8th-grade graduation! Graduation is a bittersweet time - cherishing the memories we have had with this incredible group and feel sorrow that we have to let them go!
Kindergarten Graduation - On the last day of school, we start the day with our Kindergarten Graduation! They graduate and head into the world of a "grader"! Such a special occasion!
K/8 Brunch - Following our Kindergarten Graduation, we enjoy a brunch with our Kindergarten families and 8th-grade families! We acknowledge our "lifers" and welcome our "graders"!
The Final Walk - Before we officially let out for summer, the entire school lines the halls to form a tunnel. Our 8th graders take their final walk through the Oakhill halls and head into a Limo for one last adventure together!
Tag...you're it! Summer begins!
We acknowledge and recognize our teachers who are retiring or departing! As I always say, change is bittersweet...one door closes, and another door opens! We thank teachers for leaving their mark on Oakhill, on all of us!
Summer Fully Charged - Never fear...summer camp is here! Oakhill's summer program is a fun-filled, action-packed experience for students during the summer. They can come and be kids! No technology, not too much structure, and fun and friends! Check out Summer Fully Charged
Thank you - From the bottom of our heart, we thank you for choosing Oakhill! Your trust means everything to us! We are grateful and appreciative!
Finally, don't forget to support our Annual Fund. Each year, parents, grandparents, alumni, employees, and friends choose to help our students through the Annual Fund. Their collective contributions allow the school to respond to immediate needs, unexpected opportunities, and fresh ideas.
Many schools our size in the Midwest raise over $200,000. Our goal this year is $150,000, and we are not there yet, but it is not too far out of reach! Oakhill is competitive with its peers academically; now we need your help to make us competitive with our peers when it comes to the Annual Fund! If you have questions about the Annual Fund, I would love to talk with you. When you give money to a larger institution, colleges and universities, it becomes a drop in a bucket full of endowments and other funds. But, when you choose to give money to Oakhill, I promise you, that gift makes an impact, a real splash! Help us fill our bucket!
Thank you for a memorable year,